The North West provincial health department is set to audit the qualifications of senior managers at the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital after complaints from community members.

Provincial health spokesperson, Tebogo Lekgethwane confirmed to Health-e News that the department received public complaints that some senior managers are not in possession of the relevant qualifications.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) welcomed the audit, but said they were not surprised. The union, however, wants an independent auditors to oversee the process.

“An independent body should be responsible for the qualifications audit because it would not be fair if one government structure audited the other,” says Nehawu provincial secretary Patrick Makhafane. “There seems to be a lull in taking serious violations of the law. The same department has now come back to say it wants to conduct a qualifications audit on managers hired by their own employees.”

Skills transfer

The union would like to see the audit extended to other facilities across the province. Makhafane says during government interviews, union representatives are present, but they only serve a watchdog role. He also says it is clear no skills transfer takes place when senior manages move on.

“You will find that a person has been sitting in a position for nearly 30 years and they have not transferred any skills for the incoming manager. This is why you will find candidates coming in from another province to come and work here,” he says. “Sometimes the retired manager will come in as a consultant because their resignation has left a huge gap within the department.”

In 2018, the ministry of health placed the North West health department under administration due to service delivery protests that rocked the province. The department still faces infrastructure challenges and staff shortages at many of its facilities across the province. – Health-e News